Pakistan's 11.3 billion-dollar IMF loan in danger

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Islamabad, Sep. 5 (ANI): The 11.3 billion-dollar-loan that International Monetary Fund (IMF) was going to grant Pakistan, faces the risk of disruption if the country fails to reform its tax collection system.

The 7.6 billion dollar IMF loan, agreed late last year, and raised subsequently to 11.3 billion dollars, helped Pakistan avoid a default on foreign debt payments.

Western economists are concerned about the current year's deficit, which stood at 5.2 percent rather than the 4.3 percent as agreed with the IMF.

Pakistani officials attributed it to the fallout from the military campaign in Swat.

However, western economists seem to think otherwise.

"The deficit shows a chronic problem with the Pakistani economy. The challenge is that of a very narrow base for tax collection," the Daily Times quoted an economist as saying.

During its last review, the IMF gave a waiver on the fiscal deficit. But it will be difficult for Pakistan to keep on getting waivers. The tax to GDP ratio last year was 9 percent - the lowest in South Asia. (ANI)

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